Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lowest common denominator

The Bali Road Map agreed this morning signals the launch of the negotiations on the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (post 2012) with a view to their conclusion in 2009, including commitments and actions for both developed and developing countries. The Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have agreed to be guided in these negotiations by the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC), which calls for emission reductions by industrialized countries of 25 to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, and to improve the Kyoto Protocol’s market mechanisms (carbon trading, clean development mechanisms, forest conservation compensation) and to address its loopholes.

Everyone can be pleased that the US were forced to cave in, of course. Even if the price to pay was the EU shelving their own reduction target objective. The lowest common denominator has been increased.

But, when you read the statement the White House released a few hours later, conditioning their action to measures taken by developing countries, it's clear that the only real reason for hope is that the US Presidential election is approaching.

In the meantime, we're still hostage.

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